I know a number of gays (and non-gays) that simply will not step into a Sweet Frog because of its Christian affiliation.
Sweet Frog, of course, is the wildly successful Richmond-based franchise of frozen yogurt shops. Rapidly growing since 2009, by year’s end the brand will have nearly 200 stores in the U.S. and one in South Korea.
According to its website, “SweetFrog was founded on the principles of Christianity and our belief in bringing happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of our consumers. At SweetFrog, F.R.O.G stands for Fully Rely On God – and we hope to be an example of that in every community!”
Even without a public position towards the LGBT community, there’s an automatic, and unnecessary perception that Christian-oriented companies are homophobic. This reverse discrimination is unfair and the stereotype is unfounded in the case of Sweet Frog.
I put in a call to Sweet Frog’s corporate headquarters yesterday to ask the organization’s position on LGBT issues and if they followed inclusive hiring practices. As of publishing, my call has not been returned – but I for one can testify while “researching” last month, the Sweet Frog location played Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”
Sweet Frog has not done anything that would lead to such a conclusion. If they are welcoming to all customers regardless of background, why hesitate to support a business simply based on their religious belief?
By all means if a business is against us, as LGBT consumers, we vote with our dollar. If my fuel-tank is running on fumes, I steer clear of Exxon. And you bet I haven’t eaten a waffle fry from Chik-fil-A in nearly two years.
Running GAYRVA.COM, I’m a proud gay business owner — aren’t Christian-based businesses entitled to their own sense of pride?… Especially one like Sweet Frog that’s not preaching as you weigh your pound of cake-batter froyo and brownie bites but rather passing positivity and happiness to their customers.
If for 10 minutes out of our day a frozen treat can bring that, how can it be bad? I, by the way, personally prefer the original tart with honey, crushed almonds and mochi!
Update: And, for the record, I’m not Christian.
What do you think? Does a businesses religious affiliation impact your support?
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My sexuality isn’t necessarily a paradigm in my business. However, I think it allows a creative outlet and access to different forms of expression.”June 9, 2015
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